GBO’s training programme discusses commercialisation of content

The fourth edition of Publishers Training Programme for Young Professionals, organised by German Book Office, New Delhi, was held on 1 and 2 December 2017 at the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi. This edition was all about safeguarding and commercialisation of content. It was two days of intensive learning and hands-on training where the participants were encouraged to rethink their backlist and contracts from an IP perspective.

06 Dec 2017 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

The participants were sent reading material in advance to familiarise themselves with the topics to be covered during the course of the programme, along with a list of questions that they could ponder over in relation to their own content and business.

On the first day, Prashasti Rastogi, director, GBO, New Delhi, welcomed the classroom of 29 participants with a diverse mix of young as well as senior publishing professionals, authors and business management students.

The first session, ‘Harvest your IP’, was led by Vivek Mehra, CEO, Sage Publications. Keeping in mind the audience of authors and young publishing professionals, he began with the very basics of copyright, and over the session, built their understanding of the intricacies of rights and licensing by citing multiple case studies.

Sahil Sethi, a senior law professional from Saikrishna and Associates, addressed all publishing related legal queries of the participants, and shared with them a case study of the famous Delhi University photocopy copyright case.

The second half of the day kickstarted with Carolin Ulrich’s session ‘Book as a springboard: the potential of product transformation’. Ulrich is a creative engineer from Berlin, and she discussed books-related product transformation examples from Germany. She spoke at length about the successes and failures of such ventures, encouraging the participants to think about the parameters one should keep in mind while thinking of product transformation.

The final session of the day, ‘Accelerating global rights trading’, took the participants back into the domain of rights and licensing. The session was led by Martin Jack, senior sales manager, IPR License, UK. He spoke about the ease of global rights trade in today’s day and age with platforms like IPR License, and the monetisation potential that lies within global rights trading.

The constitution of participants and the execution of the training was one of the highlights of the workshop on the second day. The participants were divided into six groups: each group consisted of three publishing professionals, one author and one business manager. In the role of business managers were management students from the Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi.

The day began with a brief recap from the three experts, following which the task was explained in detail to the participants. Each group had to choose one product from their backlist and build a business pitch for it. They were asked to focus on product transformation potential, rights and licensing parameters, capital and human resource, product pricing, target audience, and marketing strategy. The groups worked for four hours to create their pitches with inputs and guidance from the experts. For the final stage of the programme, the groups presented their pitches, addressed questions and received feedback from other groups and the experts.

The groups built their pitches around different kinds of content, varying from a children’s book series to a book-reading app. One of the groups has been offered, by session expert Vivek Mehra, a platform for actualising the business idea they came up with as a part of this training.

“I benefited from IPR knowledge and global publishing industry updates. Knowledge about our own business industry always pays off. I also made new friends within the business community,” Sugam Rastogi, executive director, Krishna Prakashan Media, said about the event.